The Calendar turning over to December is in unison with some winter type weather greeting some of the National Football League’s outdoor games today. The worst of it may be at MetLife Stadium, where the New York Giants host the Green Bay Packers. Temperatures will dip into the low 30’s and a combination of snow and rain could make playing conditions challenging.
Rain is also expected in Baltimore for the big game against two teams considered among the best in the league, the 10-1 San Francisco 49ers and the 9-2 Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore comes in riding an 8 game winning streak and quarterback Lamar Jackson has put up more than 40 points in each of his last three starts.
San Francisco enters the action today with the number one seed in the National Football Conference, with a serious challenge from the Seattle Seahawks for both the NFC West Division lead and top seed in the conference. The 49ers are one game ahead of Seattle, but in their first head-to-head meeting the Seahawks won in San Francisco. The division winner and conference top seed may be determined on the regular season’s final day when Seattle hosts the 49ers.
Before the NFC is decided, it is suspected that the New Orleans Saints will play a significant role in determining who meets the AFC Champion in Miami next February. The Saints are currently 10-2, having already notched their tenth win on Thanksgiving with a victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
This could be a big weekend for Drew Lock. Yesterday, he saw his record for touchdown passes in a college season, 44, matched by LSU standout QB Joe Burrow. After having his record become a shared proposition, today he is expected to make his first NFL start. He will likely guide the Denver Broncos against the visiting Los Angeles Chargers, thus becoming the third quarterback Denver has started this season.
The off-season acquisition of Joe Flacco paid no dividends early in the year, and backup Brandon Allen didn’t impress enough to keep John Elway and his staff from elevating Lock to a probable start today.
Another team that was looking for better quarterback play this year was the Jacksonville Jaguars. They gave up on one-time first round draft pick Blake Bortles, and acquired one time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Nick Foles from the Philadelphia Eagles. Foles was hurt in the first quarter of the Jaguars opening game, a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. His backup, Gardner Minshew, had some early success but gave way to Foles two weeks ago.
With Foles behind center, the Jaguars have not improved. In Minshew’s last start, in London, Jacksonville was dominated by the Houston Texans, 26-3. With Foles at quarterback the past two weeks, Jacksonville has lost to the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans by lopsided scores, 33-13 and 42-20 respectively.
I like the chances of the Jaguars putting together a good effort today in Foles’ first home start since opening day, and the Buccaneers coming off a win adds to the motivational edge owned in this one by the home team. The Jaguars (+2½) points is one of our money rated plays today.
As for the public, their favorite play of the week is the Green Bay Packers (-6) over the New York Giants. The second most bet team of the week is the New England Patriots (-3) over the Houston Texans, followed by the New York Jets (-3) over Cincinnati Bengals.
All the Qoxhi Sunday selections are now posted on this site, and if a Bullet Play develops in the final hour leading up to the day’s first kickoff, that game will be added to the list of recommendations at 9:45 a.m. Pacific Time.